Before the channel's resurgence in 2017, the channel had all but abandoned cartoons (with Mickey Mouse (2013) being the only animation series exclusive to the channel). Disney seemed to be under the impression only boys watch cartoons, as Disney Channel was less unisex than before and XD became their male aimed channel (even if a large amount of XD viewers are female). Disney Channel called their animation block "Disney XD on Disney Channel" which only burned people more. Many fans were outraged that the channel, historically known for its great cartoons, was de-evolved into showing mostly live action sitcoms inferior to its cartoons, though few were fine with the cartoons on XD rather than splitting between both channels. Then again, all of this could be possible, because the sitcoms make the big bucks for the network, and the cartoons would take up time slots they'd rather waste on reruns. And then there's the abandonment of old programs, animation and sitcom alike, in favor of newer ones that relate to the current 16-year-old female crowd has caused the base to split. Either you hate that old shows were swept under the rug or you love the newer shows and see the first camp as nostalgia blind.
One that came out during the tail end of summer 2018 was the schedule change. The cartoons now mainly air only in the early morning hours and mid-afternoon hours on weekends note They air from 5:30-9:00 am and Big City Greens has extra airings from 3:30-5:00 pm and a 5:30 am time slot and mid-afternoon hours on weekdays note They air from 2-5 pm with Big City Greens also at 5:30 am. The fan base is split on this. One side argues that with streaming being seen as more important than television, its not that big of a deal. The other side argues that putting cartoons back on Disney Channel doesn't mean anything if the channel won't invest in them and actually want to see them succeed, and just air them out of obligation. It's even gotten to the point where premieres on the lesser available Disney Junior channel generally get higher ratings.
Occasionally, an Idol Singer that is being heavily promoted by Disney Channel will cover a classic song from the Disney Animated Canon, which are prone to be stuck in peoples' heads for years. Most of these songs (such as Jump5's So Bad, It's Good cover of "Beauty and the Beast"), however, are bubblegum pop covers that play frequently on Radio Disney, and are panned by critics and older audiences.
Fleeting Demographic: A lot of sitcoms have a limit in seasons that are only extended if the show is either very popular or Adored by the Network, so as to keep creating new shows that are relevant to the current teen girl trends.
Girl-Show Ghetto: Between 2006 and 2017, Disney Channel's target demographic had been girls between the ages of 10 - 16, and a lot of their shows starting with Hannah Montana were accused of this trope.
Memetic Mutation: "Hi, I'm X, and you're watching Y!"explanation The most famous of the channel's ad bumpers, where an actor/character comes out, says the phrase (with X being their name and Y being "Disney Channel"), and uses a wand to draw the Disney Channel logo. Naturally, parodies ensued.
Network Decay: Total Abandonment. Ever since 2006, and especially 2012, a lot of their older, better, sitcoms and cartoons ended, the channel seems dead set on only appealing to girls despite the two decades before being a good mix of males, females, and kids at the same time, with Disney XD being the defacto station for programming aimed at males, and Disney Junior for preschool programming. They've also almost completely exported all of their cartoons to either channel. With less of this programming on the main channel, a lot of shows have a lot of negative reactions if you're not a tween girl, with a noticeable lack in creative writing, no risks being taken, weak acting from a lot of the kids, occasional sexism, and other things despite admittedly good premises for most of them. This blandness has resulted in Girl Meets World, a spin-off of its older ABC sitcom which used to rerun on this channel, being their best sitcom in years, despite that show suffering from a lot of the same problems that the others are, but at least it actually attempts to portray a lot of realistic situations, which is what made its parent series, Boy Meets World so popular.
It is to be pointed out that the release of High School Musical came three months after the release of Twilight, and given that both franchises were popular with teen girls, they shifted their target audience to Follow the Leader, especially after noticing that more girls were watching their channel than boys.
Fortunately, Disney Channel is slowly Revisiting the Roots by adding in more animation (including those based on the Disney Animated Canon), better reviewed sitcoms, a sequel series for That's So Raven, and airing reruns of their more popular shows while cancelling the critically panned ones. It hasn't quite broken out of the Girl-Show Ghetto, and as of April 2018, They recently had extracted its acclaimed (animated) shows that was a mainstay from Disney XD to the main channel.note It quietly started off by the announcement of two new Disney shows, The Owl House And Amphibia, and then with Star Vs The Forces of Evil, being moved to the Main Channel before others had moved alongside.
Pop-Culture Isolation: Violetta, an Argentine youth telenovela, has had sold out concerts and platinum albums not only in Latin America, but in many European countries as well. Outside of these regions, however, it's virtually unheard of (unless you count the South East Asian feed's airing).
"Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: It is hard to believe it today, but Disney Channel's Network Decay resulted in a boost of popularity from audiences outside 10 - 16 year old girls. The two Adored by the Network franchises were praised by critics, and were popular enough to have theatrical movies, and Hannah Montana actually had a Darker and Edgier final season. But as the years went on, other franchises (including a few non-Disney Channel franchises such as Glee) tried to copy their success through focus on stardom and having their own DCOM, which often had mixed results. Both Hannah Montana and High School Musical are now seen as examples of what went wrong with Disney Channel after 2006, losing the Periphery Demographic they once had.
Win Back the Crowd: The premiere of Good Luck Charlie during the decay period won over many due to being far more low-concept than other Disney Kid Coms, while Gravity Falls pretty much ended Disney Channel's animation decay. In 2017, this trope began in full-force when the network ended poorly-reviewed series such as Liv and Maddie and Best Friends Whenever, put more emphasis on their animation like Tangled: The Series, and in particular debuting the Darker and Edgier and Laugh Track-free Andi Mack. Adding reruns of Good Luck Charlie and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, (two better-received sitcoms) when people can actually see them helped a lot too.
The news of a That's So Raven sequel series has also been getting positive reception as well.
Likewise with the new stuff. Andi Mack was something of a feeler and its' ratings and critical success means there'll be more like it...eventually...but not before more High Concept wackiness that was already in the pipeline makes it to air.
The channel has also won back the fans that wanted the channel to bring back original animated programming in February 2018, when two new cartoons for the channel were announced: Amphibia and The Owl House.
However, throughout April, it was revealed that all of the current shows on Disney XD was moving to the network starting from DuckTales (2017), Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Big Hero 6: The Series, Big City Greens (which was originally slated to premiere on Disney XD), and Milo Murphy's Law, which is a great thing for those who don't have Disney XD.note However most providers does include Disney XD, but often place it among with the other premium channels where it requires more money to be added.
Speaking of which, the fact that a majority of Disney XD's slate has moved to Disney Channel has leaved people wondering about the channel's fate in the near future, although it made it pretty much clear that it may ended up as rerun channel to most of the recently ended acclaimed shows.